The Best Open Shelving For Under $30


Open shelving in kitchens can come in many styles and sizes...what is right for you?  Kitchen-Open-Shelving-Gray-and-White-Kitchen -the inspired room

Look at 10 photos of kitchen, or bath, renovations today and a good percentage of them will utilize open wall shelving.  Sure they look attractive but will open shelves really work in our homes or is this a look best suited for the magazines only?

Does your life fit in big glass jars, on custom built open shelving that you have to dust all the time?

Not Our Lives Either!

Custom White Shelves in Kitchen with Large Glass Doors

Ikea EKBY is a shelving system that can be used in many ways and is comfortably inexpensive.  A 30″ shelf with brackets is under $30.  Using open shelving for items we use everyday makes the difference on how well this type of storage can work.  The kitchen below had a few undesirable features, perhaps examples of what we were discussing in Monday’s post, Does Your Home Have A Blemish Or Two?  

Look how a good design plan, a little DIY’er labor and the Ikea shelves cleared this “blemish” right up.

Ikea Ekby Shelves Spray Painted Copper Brackets Always A Way To Customize Open Shelving-Design Manifest

What a wonderful, economical way to renovate and update a very standard kitchen.  Pretty sure these cabinets are the laminate ones that had a stained wood finger trim.  Ironically, these cabinets are still made today and are still ugly!  There is a white laminate top with no decorative splash, drop in sink, and white appliances.  However, the space is spot on fabulous with a trio of the Ikea white 7″ deep shelving and the brackets painted a charming gold.  The shelves hold just enough daily dish ware to keep it clean by default.  A mini makeover with a big impact!

Ikea EKBY Birch Stained Dark Shelves with Gold Brackets

Next example looks like a savvy DIY’er also painted the brackets and re-stained the Birch Finish boards.  (see additional example below)

The brackets come in a very nice standard aluminum finish.  Choose any color of Rustoleum spray paint and create your own custom design.  Hot pink, cool lime, beautiful blueberry…you get the idea.  Or, how about white brackets and the shelves painted the fun colors?  Black and white combos are a snap with these components.


Ikea Ekby Bjarnum Bracket

End Bracket Link Here

The boards come in different lengths and are 1″ thick.   Connecting brackets are available for the longer lengths.

Ikea Ekby Barnum Connecting Bracket

Connecting Bracket Link Here

Ikea EKBY Wall Shelf with Aluminum Bracket In White  Finish

Ikea EKBY Tony/Bjarnum Shelving Link Here

Right out of the box, the standard colors and brackets are not too shabby.  Above are the 46″ wide lengths that are supported by end brackets.  That is a nice long span.

Standard Board Finishes Below

Ikea EKBY Wall Shelf with Aluminum Bracket In Aluminum Finish
Aluminum Finish

This finish is smashing near ranges for everyday spices, oils and cooking vinegars.

Ikea EKBY Wall Shelf with Aluminum Bracket In Birch Finish
Birch Finish

Here’s another example of the Birch Finish being stained a darker color.  This time with brackets painted a matte black.   Modern Farmhouse.

Restain Ikea's Birch Ekby Shelf and Spray The Brackets Black For A Totally Custom Look- Shade of Teal

Ikea EKBY Wall Shelf with Aluminum Bracket In Black Brown Finish
Black Brown Finish


The standard 18″ height between counter and cabinet in the kitchen is a great place to add an Ikea narrow shelf.  Below is an example of a standard Black Brown Finish with the aluminum bracket.  It only takes a few minutes to maximize function and add custom design to a rather ordinary space.

Quartz Kitchen Counter and Empty Splash

With cabinets above and below, now this space offers utensils and toppings for quick breakfasts making, notes (pen’s hidden in the pottery), a little reminder that we used to live in a place with snow(!), as well as a spot for everyday evenings.   Can you picture this set up as a baking station.  Pans, mixer, give away wrappings in cabinets below.  Baking dishes and all the supplies in the cabinets above, plus two rows for all the small containers and bottles of baker’s stuff.   Still neat and tidy but shows a bit more about you and what makes you tick.  How fun! Ikea EKBY at kitchen splash

So instead of the too common mantra of “use it or lose it”…how about “got it then flaunt it”.  Minimalism can be about having the things you use, love and need be in an organized and appealing place in your home.   We assist and suggest ideas to our design clients to achieve this.  There is a good design for every inch of every home.

The Ikea EKBY shelving also comes in an 11″ deep size.  This depth is available in the various lengths that can be trimmed.  As in the example above with those crisp painted blue cabinets, a deeper shelf can even hold dinner plates.  Below, the longer length of shelf board has been cut to make a pair of shelves.  Extra brackets are available to purchase at Ikea.

Ikea EKBY Wall Shelving Is Excellent For Everyday Dish Ware


In a nutshell, these shelves are strong, easy to install, open to endless decor customization and, well-cheap.  We have used them over commodes, in laundry rooms, in a pantry floor to ceiling on one wall, in kid’s rooms for all kinds of “stuff”, to make a command central for a busy Mom, in a fabulous wet bar and over a baby’s changing table.  We have even used the 11″ deep size as wall mounted night tables in a quest room.

With about $30 and maybe 30 minutes, where can you find to use one of these puppies?  Need a quick consultation to run your design ideas by us?

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3 thoughts on “The Best Open Shelving For Under $30”

  1. Love open shelving AND Ikea! No real space for open shelving in our house now, but we’re in the process of building and I’m already looking for a place to add them. Great ideas!

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